Thank you to everyone who attended yesterday’s dedication of the Battle of Lake Erie Forever® stamp at Perry’s Victory and International Peace Memorial in Put-in-Bay, Ohio. What a turnout! We are very proud to have taken part in commemorating the 200th anniversary of the Battle of Lake Erie.
The biggest commemorative event was a spectacular naval reenactment of the battle. On Labor Day, September 2, fifteen tall ships came from several ports and gathered at the original battle site about 8 miles from Put-in-Bay. More than 550 reenactors in period garb manned the vessels, along with the permanent crews. The most prominent vessel was the Niagara, a reconstruction of the brig Oliver H. Perry commanded during the battle. The U.S. Coast Guard enforced a 500-yard safety zone as cannons fired away during the reenactment. Other celebratory events, including a Grand Parade, took place from September 7 through September 10.
Want to learn more about the Battle of Lake Erie? Here are some places to start:
Put-in-Bay, Ohio. The Battle of Lake Erie was fought near this island, now the site of Perry’s Victory and International Peace Memorial. The memorial is a Doric column that rises 352 feet over Lake Erie. It was constructed in 1913 to honor those who fought in the battle and to celebrate peace between Britain, Canada, and the United States. The memorial is now part of the National Park Service.
“Perry’s Victory: The Battle of Lake Erie.” The Toledo Museum of Art in Toledo, Ohio, has put together an exhibition of paintings, prints, letters, and artifacts from and about the battle and the war. The museum is also hosting educational presentations and fun music performances, but you better hurry. The exhibition closes November 10.
Erie, Pennsylvania. Perry built his fleet here at Presque Isle Bay. The city of Erie is also home to an actively sailing replica of the Niagara, the ship Perry used to defeat the British. The reconstructed Niagara, launched in 1988 on the 175th anniversary of the Battle of Lake Erie, sails the Great Lakes, preserves and interprets the story of the Battle of Lake Erie, and serves as a sailing school vessel. Erie is also home to the Erie Maritime Museum, which tells the story of the Battle of Lake Erie through historical artifacts, interactive exhibits, and videos.
“Seas, Lakes & Bay: The Naval War of 1812.” This exhibit at Mahan Hall, U.S. Naval Academy, in Annapolis, Maryland, runs until November 3, 2013. It tells the story of the war through art, artifacts, and ship models from the collections of Mr. William I. Koch and the U.S. Naval Academy Museum.
The U.S. Postal Service began its commemoration of the bicentennial of the War of 1812, a war that ultimately helped forge our national identity and gave us our national anthem, with the release of the USS Constitution Forever® stamp in 2012. Both War of 1812 stamps are available now at usps.com/stamps, by calling 800-STAMP24 (800-782-6724), and at Post Offices nationwide.